Have noticed lately a few mobile and broadband providers seem to be looking to lock in their customers for longer contracts – 18 months at a time. Much as this makes sense as a customer retention strategy, can’t imagine it will do anything other than nark consumers off… Certainly I’ll avoid it unless they promise me very, very good incentives (and I’m confident of their customer service levels).
On the other hand, it does mark a decline in the great acquistion drive for ‘new’ technologies — after an astonishingly short period of time. To reach saturation point in the market such as you’re already competing for each others customers at this stage – bravo, the knowledge economy is practically here.
Of course, the digital divide hasn’t been crossed as yet – there’s still a large minority of the population who don’t have access to the latest and greatest services; what’s to be done about them? Well, hopefully we’ll see some government investment and some regulatory controls pushing to make Britain an information egalitarian state [sic], even if the Tories do win the next election. That would make an interesting (if particularly geeky) episode of Yes Minister.
There is an interesting piece on Silicon.com that speculates that an information economy will only truly be driven by all pervasive, ultra fast broadband… there’s some truth in that (although I’m not sure if 1 Gbp/s is it!).